Our EcoWest SXSW Eco presentation

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Overview of the American West and its environmental challenges, including visualizations of the human footprint and water use.

Text of Our EcoWest SXSW Eco presentation

  • 1. Visualizing environmental trends in the American WestSXSW Eco 2013 Austin, Texas@MitchTobin mitch@ceaconsulting.com

2. EcoWest.org mission Inform and advance conservation in the American West by analyzing, visualizing, and sharing data on environmental trends.2 3. Night lights of the Western hemisphereSource: NASA3 4. Summary What is the West? Human footprint Water crisis4 5. WHAT IS THE WEST?5 6. View of Earth from SaturnYou are hereSource: NASA/JPL/SSI6 7. Source: NASA7 8. Feb. 1, 2004 Source: NASA10/16/20138 9. EcoWest focuses on the 11 Western states9 10. 1) Much of the West is dominated by federal landFederal Tribal State Local/regional Private conservation Joint/unknown Urbanized areas Source: Protected Area Database, Conservation Biology Institute10 11. The United States of LightSource: NASA11 12. 2) Aridity is common west of the 100th Meridian100th MeridianAverage annual precipitation: 1951-2002 (inches)Source: Climate Wizard12 13. Lushness of vegetationSource: NASA13 14. 3) Huge variations in elevation and temperature Lowest and tallest points in the lower 48 just 85 miles apartMount Whitney, 14,505 feet Death Valley, -282 feetU.S. average temperatures: 1951-2006 Source: Climate Wizard14 15. 4) Tremendous biological diversitySource: U.S. Climate Change Science Program15 16. 5) Growing share of U.S. population lives in West 9025%80 20%70 6015% 50 Millions 40 10% 30 Population of 11 Western states20% of U.S. population in 11 Western states10 05%0%Source: U.S. Census Bureau16 17. THE HUMAN FOOTPRINT17 18. Federal lands common in Western states30% 30%1%3%53% 50%6%85%6%3%37%2%1%1%48%10%1%1% 57%45%1%6%42%2% 7%5%10%5% 12%3% 42%4%3%7% 7%2%VT = 8% NH = 13% MA = 2% RI = 0.4% CT = 0.4% NJ = 3% DE = 2% MD = 3% DC = 25%2%4%5% 8%69%19%Portion of each state that is federal land Source: U.S. General Services Administration18 19. Percent of ecoregion formally protectedSource: The Nature Conservancy19 20. Some traditional extractive industries in decline Logging in national forests a shadow of its former self 16Timber produced by U.S. national forestsNorthern spotted owl ESA listing141210 Billions of board- 8 feetSold Harvested6420Source: U.S. Forest Service20 21. Federal lands important for fossil fuel production Private, tribal, and state land also home to energy development 45 40 3530 25 Percent 20 15% of US total for natural gas10% of US total for fossil fuels5 0Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration21 22. Humanitys imprint is already deep, indelibleSource: U.S. Geological Survey22 23. Population densitySource: U.S. Geological Survey23 24. Population density plus agricultureSource: U.S. Geological Survey24 25. Add highwaysSource: U.S. Geological Survey25 26. Add highways, railroads,Source: U.S. Geological Survey26 27. Add highways, railroads, powerlines,Source: U.S. Geological Survey27 28. Add highways, railroads, powerlines, canalsSource: U.S. Geological Survey28 29. Landfills and waste transfer stationsSource: U.S. Geological Survey29 30. Human-caused wildfires: 1986-2001Source: U.S. Geological Survey30 31. Oil and gas well densitySource: U.S. Geological Survey31 32. Exotic plant invasion riskSource: U.S. Geological Survey32 33. Probability of feral cat presenceSource: U.S. Geological Survey33 34. The human footprint in the American WestSource: U.S. Geological Survey34 35. The human footprint in the American West Glacier NPNorth Cascades NPGreat Bear, Bob Marshall and Scapegoat wildernessOlympic NP Bitterroot Range Yellowstone NP Mt. Rainier NP Wind River Range Trinity AlpsUinta MountainsGreat Salt Lake/DesertYosemite NP Sequoia/Kings Canyon NP Death Valley NPDesolation Canyon WSA Canyonlands NP/ Glen Canyon NRA Grand Canyon NPNevada Test Site Cabeza Prieta NWR/ Goldwater Range Source: U.S. Geological SurveyGila Wilderness35 36. ColoradoI live here I play here36 37. California37 38. WATER38 39. Irrigation is the top water user in the WestWater withdrawals in the West, 2005 Livestock 0.2% Mining 0.3%Irrigation 76.2%Thermoelectric 11.8% Public Supply 10.8% Domestic, SelfSupplied 0.8% Industrial SelfSupplied 0.1%Source: U.S. Geological Survey39 40. WRI Aqueduct: overall water riskSource: WRI Aqueduct40 41. Baseline water stressSource: WRI Aqueduct41 42. Projected change in water stress: Pessimistic emissions scenarioIPCC A2 in 2095Source: WRI Aqueduct42 43. Glen Canyon Dam and Lake PowellPhoto by Mitch Tobin43 44. Glen Canyon Dam and Lake PowellSource: Wikipedia44 45. Lake Powell daily elevation: 1964-2013Source: Bureau of Reclamation45 46. Lake PowellSource: U.S. Climate Change Science Program/ Photos by John Dohrenwend 46 47. Lake PowellSource: U.S. Climate Change Science Program/ Photos by John Dohrenwend 47 48. 2012Source: NASA48 49. 2013Source: NASA49 50. Rising demands, questionable suppliesSource: Colorado River Basin Water Supply & Demand Study50 51. Looking back on the way to JupiterSource: NASA/JPL/Doug Ellison51 52. Download slides, data, and other free resourcesmitch@ceaconsulting.com Twitter: @MitchTobin 52